Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader is a video game released in 2001 exclusively for the GameCube. Developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts, Rogue Leader was the first sequel to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
Rogue Leader expanded on the original game with improved graphics and a new tactics menu that allows the player to form up their squadron or set a target for their squadron such as laser turrets or enemy TIE Fighters. The game also expanded on the unlockable levels of the original—Beggar's Canyon is included in the tutorial, the opening level Battle of Yavin was included in both games (Rogue Squadron called the level Death Star Trench Run), and Battle of Hoth was made more authentic with the GameCube's advanced power. The other major battle in the original movie trilogy, The Battle of Endor, was arguably the biggest and most challenging scenario in the entire game.
Early in the Galactic Civil War, Red Squadron, led by Luke Skywalker, becomes Rogue Squadron and participates in many of the most influential battles of the war. Skywalker flies as Red Five in his first battle of the fledgling Rebellion against the Galactic Empire, the Battle of Yavin, which leads to the destruction of the Death Star I.
The Rebellion grew following this victory, as did Imperial retaliation. Red Squadron was escorting a convoy from Yavin 4 to Hoth, and was ambushed by imperial forces. After Skywalker is shot down during the Battle of Hoth, command of Red Squadron switched to Wedge Antilles. After the Battle of Hoth, Antilles took part in an investigation team in The Maw, to scout out an Imperial asteroid base; where he and the rest of Rogue Squadron freed prisoners taken on Hoth. Bothan spies beamed the plans and the location of the Death Star II to the corvette Razor, which was captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer. The Rogues disabled the Star Destroyer and sent it crashing into the planet Kothlis where the Rogues provided support to a commando team moving into the burning hull of the cruiser after its destruction to retrieve the data.
As the Rebellion prepared over Sullust for its operation against the Death Star II, Antilles led a strike team to capture tibanna gas for the Rebel fleet at Bespin, then moved to the climactic Battle of Endor against the Death Star.
When Factor 5 received early GameCube prototype hardware in mid-2000, the development team then working on Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo decided they next wanted to create a direct sequel to Factor 5's most successful game to date—Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. With LucasArts' approval, the team immediately began developing a tech demo to exhibit at Space World, a Nintendo-hosted trade show. In 19 days, Factor 5 produced an introductory cutscene that emulated a scene from Star Wars and a playable demo, which then premiered alongside Nintendo's GameCube hardware at the show. According to GameSpot, the cutscene "wowed audiences," and IGN described the demo as "drop-dead gorgeous."
As with Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo, Rogue Leader was again co-developed by Factor 5 and LucasArts; however, the bulk of the game's development was done by Factor 5. Unlike past co-development efforts, the bulk of the level design, which was traditionally handled by LucasArts, was created by Factor 5 in addition to the game's engineering and programming. Factor 5's in-house development team consisted of 25 members plus two freelance employees. One level designer as well as the game's lead artist were employed by LucasArts. Development of the game's art started that same year. In anticipation of the project, modelers immediately began building high-polygon models of the playable craft using Maya and in-house tools, and usable art was pulled from the archives. In late December, 2000, mission designers met with director Julian Eggebrecht and producer Brett Tosti to start planning the game engine. The team eventually completed Battle for Naboo, and full-time development of Rogue Leader began in February 2001.
Draw distance, much improved over the first Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo, was drawn out as far as possible. A small amount of haze was deliberately added to create a sense of distance, but not to actually hide the drawing. The game also has three levels of detail; the closer the player comes to objects, the more detailed they become. By utilizing the GameCube's Graphics processing unit's TEV pipeline, Factor 5 was able to create the shader needed to produce the visual effect employed by the game's targeting computer. The developers tried to make the game as close to the movies as possible, studying Industrial Light & Magic's special effects, using some of the same sound effects, music and voice acting from the films. The original actor, Denis Lawson, was also hired to record new lines for Wedge Antilles.
With the development of the open-source Dolphin emulator, several HD texture packs were made.
- Tatooine Training Grounds
- Death Star Attack - The attack on the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. Players are first required to destroy deflection towers on the surface of the Death Star to support Y-Wing bombers for their trench runs. Immediately after, Red Squadron is told by Yavin 4 that enemy fighters are approaching. Once a player has successfully destroyed all TIE fighters, they are allowed to proceed with their Trench Run. The player must maneuver their way around turrets and obstacles, and then must evade Darth Vader's TIE Advanced and two TIE Fighters, which can be destroyed. Once players have evaded Vader and his TIEs enough, they hear Han Solo with a "Ya-hoo!" and then must proceed to fire proton torpedoes into the Death Star's exhaust port at the end of the Trench. Afterwards, the player sees Wedge, Luke, a Y-Wing, and the Millennium Falcon fly away from the Death Star, and the Death Star explodes.
- Ison Corridor Ambush - Rogue Squadron, escorting the frigate Redemption, as well as several Rebel Transports, travel through the Ison Corridor, when TIE Fighters ambush the transports. The player must defeat all TIE Fighters that are attacking the Rebel Transports to advance to the next stage. Once all TIE Fighters are defeated, TIE Interceptors reinforce the Imperial ambush, and the player has an option to switch vehicles with an A-Wing. Once the player has destroyed all of the incoming TIE Interceptors, the player heads into the nebula with the transports and the Redemption. Immediately after entering the nebula, the players have to defend the transports from yet another wave of TIE Interceptors.
- Battle of Hoth - The level where players recreate the Battle of Hoth. During this level play permanently switches to Wedge Antilles.
- Prisons of the Maw - A bombing mission where players must free Rebel prisoners from an Imperial prison in an asteroid field.
- Razor Rendezvous - Shoot down the Star Destroyer above Kothlis.
- Vengeance on Kothlis - Fight off against Imperial Forces until an infiltration team manages to secure vital data.
- Imperial Academy Heist - Sneak into the Imperial Academy and hijack the shuttle Tyderium.
- Raid on Bespin - repel the occupying Imperial forces and protect the Tibanna Gas.
- Battle of Endor - The level where players recreate the Battle of Endor.
- Strike at the Core - The level where players recreate the climax of the Battle of Endor in regards to the bombing run of the Death Star's core.
- Death Star Escape
- The Asteroid Field
- Triumph of the Empire - Vader, in his TIE Advanced X1, defeats the Rebels during the Battle of Yavin, and kills not only Biggs Darklighter, but also Wedge and Luke Skywalker
- Revenge on Yavin - Vader leads a task force from his TIE Advanced X1 to invade Yavin IV.
- Death Star Endurance
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
- David Davies ... Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice)
- Peter McConnell ... Admiral Ackbar (voice)
- Tom Kenny ... Biggs / Rebel Wingman 3 (voice)
- Tom Kane ... Crix Madine, Imperial Pilot 2, Transport Captain 3 (voice)
- Scott Lawrence ... Darth Vader (voice)
- Denny Delk ... Narrator (voice)
- Lynne Maclean ... Frigate Commander (voice)
- Dan Barton ... General Rieekan (voice)
- Robert Machray ... Imperial Base Commander, Red Leader (voice)
- Jeff Bennett ... Imperial Officer (voice)
- Steve Ballantine ... Imperial Pilot 1 (voice)
- Grey DeLisle ... Karie Neth (voice)
- Obba Babatundé ... Lando Calrissian (voice)
- Joe Nipote ... Outpost Beta Commander, Transport Captain 2 (voice)
- Mikey Kelley ... Rebel Wingman 1 (voice)
- Richard Green ... Rebel Wingman 2 (voice)
- Jeff Cesario ... Rebel Wingman 4 (voice)
- Michael Ralph ... Rebel Wingman 5 (voice)
- Richard Doyle ... Rebel Wingman 6, Transport Captain 1 (voice)
- Rob Paulsen ... Rebel Wingman 7, Slave (voice)
- Richard McGonagle ... Rebel Soldier 1 (voice)
- Kevin Michael Richardson ... Transport Captain 4 (voice)
- Bob Bergen ... Luke Skywalker (voice)
- Denis Lawson ... Wedge Antilles (voice)
- Harrison Ford ... Han Solo (voice) (archive audio)
- Carrie Fisher ... Leia Organa (voice) (archive audio)
- Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO (voice) (archive audio)
Rogue Leader was among the highest rated GameCube launch titles, and praised for its gameplay and graphics.
Rogue Leader won the E3 2001 Game Critics Award for Best Action Game.
In addition for being supplied with three Nintendo Power issues (149–151), Rogue Leader also won an overall rank of 5 stars in Nintendo Power Volume 150's Now Playing section.
Rogue Leader was the 7th-best-selling video game on the Nintendo GameCube in November 2001, the title's debut month. These sale figures made the game the best-selling third-party and second-best-selling overall GameCube game during the console's launch. LucasArts stated that the title had sold faster than any of its previously published games at the time. When both the game and console were launched in the United Kingdom over six months later, the title entered the charts at number one, making it the first ever third-party game to hit the top spot during a console's launch. In May 2003, Nintendo added Rogue Leader to its best-selling Player's Choice collection. Rogue Leader sold over 873,000 copies in the United States and over 100,000 in the UK.
- State of the Arts"—Star Wars Gamer 6 "
- State of the Arts"—Star Wars Gamer 7 "
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Copy That, Rogue Leader"—Star Wars Gamer 9 "
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader on Wikipedia
- IGN review of Rogue Leader
- Fan reviews on GameFAQs
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II - Rogue Leader on MobyGames